In this article, you will learn how to find research gap from research articles by following simple steps.
Identifying a research gap is normally quite difficult for most researchers, no matter if you are pursuing a PhD, MS or doing any form of research. However, I have explained simple steps to identify a gap.
What is a gap in the Research?
A research gap is a knowledge or information gap within a given field of research. Gaps can exist within a single study, if the researcher has failed to consider all relevant literature.
Research Gap = Deficiency in Literature
- Research Gap is a research topic which has not been addressed.
- provides you the reason for conducting your research.
- drive you to think about your research questions.
Gaps are often identified during the literature review process, as part of an assessment of the state of current knowledge on a given topic.
Identifying gaps is important for two main reasons: first, it helps to focus the research question and ensure that the study will make a unique contribution to knowledge; second, it allows the researcher to build on existing work and avoid duplication.
How to identify a gap?
Research Gaps represent an opportunity for new research to fill the void and advance our understanding of a given topic.
In order to identify a research gap, you must
✔ First identify what information is already known about the topic,
✔ Secondly, determine what information is still unknown.
You can find research gap by reading multiple paper on same topic and by reading the article’s future directions and limitations. There are several ways to identify research gaps.
- One way is to use Google Scholar or another academic search engine to find recent articles on your topic.
Once you have found several articles, read through them and take note of any areas that are not fully addressed or where further research is needed.
Another way to identify research gaps is to attend conferences or talks on your topic and take note of any areas that are not fully addressed in the presentations.
Before you start to identify gaps in the literature, you need to figure out:
- What your area of interest is?
- Then focus to narrow down that research area
How to find articles?
If you are looking for research articles, you should search online databases such as Google Scholar. Google Scholar allow you to search for articles by keyword and usually provide access to the full text of the article.
In order to find articles, that are specific to your research area, you need to follow these steps:
- Go to Google scholar from your browser
- Type the topic on which you are conducting your research in the search bar. Like my research area is cyberbullying so I will type it in the search bar. Press Enter.
As you can see, there are list of articles that are showing up all related to cyberbullying The years in which they were published are mentioned. All these research articles are old like articles that were published in 2010, 2008, 2012.
In order to do that, you need to Click on Custom Range.
You have to look for paper from recent years. Like I’m searching for article from 2018 to 2022. Click on Search.
Now, All these articles are of recent years in which you can find what is unexplored area, that researchers have pointed recently on cyberbullying.
For example, I have selected this article. Now in order to read this article we need to download it. To do that Open the article.
Copy link address. Go to Sci-Hub website to download the article. Link is in the description box of the video. Paste the link address. Click on open. Download the paper. The paper has been downloaded. Open the paper.
As you begin to gather gaps, critically read for what has, and has not, been learned from the research. Use the articles’ Discussion and Future Research sections to learn more about what the researchers discovered and where they suggest future or additional research topics.
Now, You have to highlight the gap. You can also search for future gap by pressing Control + F Button.
Use tools such as MS Word to map out the research you find from scholarly articles. These methods would be helpful to organize what information you have found and what is shared among the literature, as well as to identify what areas may be missing in the research.
The gap which I have identified I will paste them in word document. Also remember to write the name of author with the gap and also mention the year. This would help when you will write your research literature and to build the model.
Download multiple articles on a specific topic. You need to find multiple gaps on the same research topic as one gap is not enough to build the model or to conduct a research. Find gap from each paper and paste them in word document. You must have a gap for your Independent Variable, Dependent Variable, moderator and mediator.
Hope you have understood the process of identifying gaps in the research papers. If you want more articles comment in the comment section, so that next article will be of your choice.
LEARN MORE: 7 Types of Research Gap | Examples and Format